Review, pics and text © EDGE magazine 1993
Format: FM Towns Marty
Publisher: Ving
Developer: Inhouse
Price: £90 (Jap import)
Size: 1 CD
Let me take you back in time to November 1993, and the latest copy of EDGE magazine issue 2 was fresh through my letterbox. In it was a review the Marty conversion of Toaplan's TATSUJIN 2 coin op, which had me drooling all over the pics. In an attempt to save my copy of the magazine from biodegrading due to excessive saliva, it's digitally preserved here in its entirety. Enjoy - Malc

Fujitsu's Marty has some of the most impressive technical specifications of any CD system out at the moment. And although it's highly unlikely that this great machine will ever enjoy mass European distribution, global interest in the Marty is growing, and fast.

Boasting a 16.7 million colour palette, 32bit CPU with the potential for 1024 hardware sprites - it's easy to see why.

With all this power to play with, the only thing limiting Marty developers is imagination. Psygnosis's Microcosm, but for the shallow gameplay, demonstrated what could be done with Fujitsu's machine and showed plenty of ingenuity, particularly in its image compression techniques.

The programmers at Ving may not have matched the sheer quality of Microcosm's velvet smooth graphics, but they've produced a game that's fantastically playable, visually stunning, and sonically outstanding. Even so, Tatsijin 2is still recognisably just a simple vertically scrolling shoot 'em up.

But all is not lost. Tatsujin 2, or Truxton 2 as it's known over here, is in fact a very great game. At first it's difficult to pinpoint what makes it so brilliant. The levels don't change dtrastically, neither do the guardians, and the shoot 'em up vertical format is not exactly the latest in gaming technology - so what is it about the Marty version of Tatsujin 2 that keeps the player enthralled?

Tatsujin 2 has some of the most impressive explosions you've ever seen [below], and the two player mode [above] makes the alien blasting action just that bit more intense.

Click for more...
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Well, it could be the great arcade quality graphics, the likes of which have never before graced any home system, it could be the fantastic explosions you get when the larger enemies die - it could even be the immense feeling of control you get when your ship is fully powered up. But no. There's one ingredient present in Tatsujin 2 that seems to be lacking in a lot of software today, and that is, very simply, playability. And for this it's as damn near perfect as it can be.

As was the case with last month's Gradius II - and any classic title come to that - time erodes very little. Tatsujin 2 is as great now as it ever was, and this version is by far the best around. Based closely on the original, brilliant Toaplan coin-op, it features fast moving sprites without even a hint of slowdown, tough bosses and jaw-droppingly good explosions. All the elements in Tatsujin 2 blend to form a brilliant title. You also get the option for two players to simultaneously take on the enemy , and even with two ships, there's no slowdown. It's impressive stuff.

The only slight letdown is the infinite continues, but it's a tough game, and you do need them to make any real progress. Now if only Psygnosis and Ving could join forces, thenů well, maybe not.

EDGE rating 8/10


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie